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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warren Jeffs demands polygamists' support from prison

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Warren Jeffs is tightening his grip on the polygamist group he leads as "prophet" while he is in prison, demanding people abandon amenities such as toys, pets and recreational vehicles to give more money to their church, possibly to support the sect's massive ranch in Texas, a sect member said.

Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the twin border cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., are being threatened with excommunication, potentially losing their family and property, if they do not follow through.

"Because of the lack of resources in Texas, he is trying to mandate other communities turn in their resources," said Willie Jessop, an FLDS member who is not loyal to Jeffs.

Jeffs is in a Texas prison serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls ages 12 and 15.

That fact isn't known to the vast majority of Jeffs' followers, Jessop said.

FLDS members aren't being allowed to have things like bicycles, ATVs, trampolines or toys. There is no Internet access for faithful followers of Jeffs, and pets, or any animals that don't bring monetary gain, are forbidden, Jessop said.

In trials of FLDS members in Texas, law enforcement personnel noted that when they raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April 2008, searching for someone who reported being sexually assaulted, they removed more than 400 children but found no children's toys in the residential houses on the ranch.

The cash flow realized from constriction of luxuries and entertainment among the FLDS is money "to cover up the immoral conduct of Warren Jeffs, and it is corruption at the highest level," Jessop said.

Sam Brower, a private investigator who has built a career looking into the FLDS and keeps up with members, said Jeffs has given a deadline of Dec. 31 for his supporters to prove their loyalty.

Members are now required to pay $5,000 more each month, he said, an incremental amount from previous mandates to pay tithes plus $500, then $1,000, then $2,000.

The money may be going to "places of refuge," FLDS outposts around the country, Brower said. Much of the money may also be going to construction projects, he and Jessop said.

New construction continues at the Schleicher County ranch. A massive domed building with walls 30 feet high can be seen under construction.

The rules for the YFZ Ranch, which included only handpicked followers of Jeffs, seem now to be applied to all other communities, Jessop said.

"I think clearly there is an effect that will take place in Texas based on the ethnic cleansing he is trying to impose on other communities," Jessop said. "The good side of this is that it has exposed that this is not about religion. It's about taking people's lifestyle away in the name of religion.

"The bad part is, people are going broke trying to sustain the appetite of cash at the YFZ Ranch."

People no longer follow Warren Jeffs because he is beloved, they follow him out of fear, Jessop said.

The cash flow realized from constriction of luxuries and entertainment among the FLDS is money "to cover up the immoral conduct of Warren Jeffs, and it is corruption at the highest level," Jessop said.

(Matthew Waller is a reporter for the Standard Times in San Angelo, Texas.)
(Courtesy of http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/jeffs120711/jeffs120711/)


  1. This is so weird and foreign to me. WHY on earth do they still listen to him? Don't they have a new cult leader?

  2. He is such a killjoy...lol....DITTO on why in heck do they listen to a guy in prison? He can not speak directly but has pass on his mandates which are then broadcast to the followers as he is in prison. How contrived and they still liste. Who knows what he may actually say, it is so weird. He must of had one heck of an infrastructure in place before going to jail.....AMAZING

  3. If you post articles, can you please post the day that they came out, too?


  4. Long-time reader, first time poster here.

    They still listen to them because they've been brainwashed into believing that he has a direct line to God and that what he says, goes. They've been taught to not think for themselves and to obey what they've been told to do because the rewards in heaven will be so great.

    A few years ago Jeffs outlawed books, toys, and contact with the outside world as much as possible. In Escape, Carolyn Jessop speculates that he was trying to move all the followers to the Texas compound so that he could keep them in a concentration-camp setting and have total control over his people.

    I hate that these people have been so completely swindled by this idiot. He's abused their belief in and devotion to him for his own gain. He's the worst kind of religious "prophet": the one who cares only about his own pockets and comfort.

  5. My goodness-is Jeff's going to start shaking down FLDS members for prison canteen money next?

    @ Chantelle Also-according to the book Prophet's Prey, Jeffs had all dogs on the ranch killed, after one pet attacked a child.

  6. Wow. I think this might actually be a good thing, because it will make people leave this crazy sect! Who can come up with 5000$ a month when they have several wives and a whole bunch of children? Nobody.

  7. The seems to not have a problem with letting Jeffs send out reams of written material. The prison could institute some rules in that regard. They are letting him run a racketeering org from the inside, it sounds like.

    I don't care to invent excuses for the followers. They are dips who exercise no free will and contribute in no way to society. They harm society. They cause problems for the rest of the state and country to deal with. Would love for them to National Guarded out of existence.

  8. Since it is Jeffs soldiers (and his brother?) running the group now-do they get a cut of the racketeering? In bonuses? or High Pay? or are they AFRAID OF EACH OTHER?

    Since they have no 'outside world' contact-would love to see a plane drop leaflets on them-like the Propaganda Planes of WARS. But, since they are all 'followers' instead of leaders, You cannot expect someone to be bold enough to stand up and say 'this is %$##, he is in jail, gonna stay there-NO MONEY!'

    Why is he doing this if he has 'life plus 20', and it is in TEXAS-is he planning a escape-or, so insane that he can't LET GO?

    1. I bet many of the brainwashed cult members, particularly the women, got such a poor education that they wouldn't be able to read the leaflets if they were dropped. That would also make it harder to survive and support their families in the outside world if they 'escaped'.

  9. @Border Collie: "I don't care to invent excuses for the followers. They are dips who exercise no free will and contribute in no way to society. They harm society. They cause problems for the rest of the state and country to deal with. Would love for them to National Guarded out of existence."

    It sounds like you are saying you want all of the victims of Warren Jeffs killed because they have no free will. I'm sure you don't really mean this literally, but I do believe there is a place for compassion in making our world better. Remember that many of those lacking free will were born into this setting, or were victims of abuse at an early age. Because I was a victim of childhood abuse and trauma I was easy pickin's for a cult in the '70's. I got out after several years, and while it took many years of healing, have gone on to lead a productive life. I like to think that my experiences were worth it, because I've been able to show compassion for and help others.

  10. Border Collie is probably just a little over reaching because he saw the comment about Jeffs ordering all the dogs killed. *wink*

    Welcome Morwenna. I'm glad you found your way out of the cult and have experienced some healing.

    To the topic at hand...
    This seems BIG to me, maybe it is the beginning of the end for the Jeffs group? And by end, I mean end of the cult, not end of their lives. Maybe they'll push away and purge so many members that there will be no one left? One can hope.

  11. Interesting. AUB (the Brown's polygamous group asked all its members to cough up the millions of dollars AUB was court ordered to pay back after leaders were found guilty of stealing Virginia Hill's money. Whatever the leaders do, it seems that their followers are the ones to suffer.

  12. I remember being upset at Big Love's story line about Alby ordering all the dogs to be killed. It sort of soured the show for me at the time. I had no clue that it was a based on fact! I'm so disgusted, that there are no words....

    I just wish that charges had have been laid against Jeffs and all of his followers who participated, or who stood by - every single one of them! There are no excuses, no amount of naivete or fear, nothing justifies this.

  13. The AUB split away from the Short Creek group in 1953 over a leadership dispute. Rulon Allred led the split after having been ordained by Joseph W. Musser to take over after his death. Supporters of Leroy S. Johnson remained in Short Creek and the groups parted ways. Short Creek later came to be known as Colorado City-Hildale.